Taschen released some of their most popular large books in smaller format and a lower price point for its 40th anniversary in 2020. I have purchased and reviewed several. Another of those books was released last month, “The Star Wars Archives 1977 – 1983” by Paul Duncan. The original XXL (huge!) book retails for $200.00, this much smaller version retails for $25.00 and sometimes has been priced less on Amazon. “The Star Wars Archives 1977 – 1983” is 6.5 x 1.75 x 9 inches and 512 pages.
We have a couple of XXL Taschen books, they are beautiful but so big. I am much more likely to read a book I can set on my lap or desk. And these smaller Taschen books are packed with the same photos and information.
George Lucas writes the foreword. He talks about his near-death experience at age 18 from an automobile accident before writing about…life. And a couple of pages later, he discusses that auto accident further and how he felt that every day he received an extra day, that each day is a gift. From there Lucas talks about going to USC and looking for work and eventually how there was a bit of a tug of war to get “American Graffiti” delivered as a feature film instead of on television as a “movie of the week”.
The Star Wars Archives 1977 – 1983 is a very easy read. I’m a moderate “Star Wars” fan, I enjoyed the first film in the theaters in 1977 as a 10 year old. I never had a concept in my head that over 40 years later, that there would be so many more movies and theme park lands. I enjoy the experiences in the parks (1977 was also the year of my first trip to Walt Disney World). I’m not a “Star Wars” expert – and yet I find The Star Wars Archives 1977 – 1983 an extremely enjoyable book in the way it is presented whether it’s about how George Lucas really did not want Harrison Ford for Han Solo because he (Lucas) did not want to have anyone from his film “American Graffiti” in it and how he’d dismissed Mark Hamill early on.
There is so much concept art along with lots of photos, script pages and such. This is a smaller book but still 500 pages and packs a lot in for the money. I don’t know how long the 40th anniversary editions will sell for but I have been so impressed. The one downside of this book is the extended page with book information that folds in (you can use it like a bookmark). It isn’t great quality and the one on the Marvel book was torn on receipt. The rest of the pages are excellent quality.
Here is the official information about the book from Taschen:
Star Wars exploded onto our cinema screens in 1977, and the world has not been the same since. After watching depressing and cynical movies throughout the early 1970s, audiences enthusiastically embraced the positive energy of the Star Wars galaxy as they followed moisture farmer Luke Skywalker on his journey through a galaxy far, far away, meeting extraordinary characters like mysterious hermit Obi-Wan Kenobi, space pirates Han Solo and Chewbacca, loyal droids C-3PO and R2-D2, bold Princess Leia Organa and the horrific Darth Vader, servant of the dark, malevolent Emperor.
Writer, director, and producer George Lucas created the modern monomyth of our time, one that resonates with the child in us all. He formed Industrial Light & Magic to develop cutting-edge special effects technology, which he combined with innovative editing techniques and a heightened sense of sound to give audiences a unique sensory cinematic experience.
In this first volume, made with the full cooperation of Lucasfilm, Lucas narrates his own story, taking us through the making of the original trilogy―Episode IV A New Hope, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and Episode VI Return of the Jedi―and bringing fresh insights into the creation of a unique universe. Complete with script pages, production documents, concept art, storyboards, on-set photography, stills, and posters, this is the authoritative exploration of the original saga as told by its creator.
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